Almost every child tries to cheat every now and then. But how is one to react as a mother or father when the child begins to lie? And how do you (again) teach the child honesty?
Who has eaten the chocolate bar? Who threw the vase over? And are the homework done? Not all children would answer these questions truthfully. But why does our own child lie to us? And how can you stop it?
Experts agree: If a child lies, it is first and foremost no end of the world. It is part of their development as soon as they learn in preschool age to distinguish between truth and falsehood and learn strategic thinking, which is a prerequisite for conscious lying . Kids occasionally try on white lies when they find it “more comfortable” than telling the truth. And that can last until teenage years (“I did not drink alcohol”, “Those were the others”).
Honesty can be learned
Many parents get a shock first and get into self-doubt when they catch their child while lying. Did they raise it wrong? Is it the parents who are to blame?
Many experts agree: the question of guilt is not appropriate here. However, it is indeed the case that honesty and truth can be learned – and parents can teach their protégés. But how do you keep the child from lying?
Educational counselors advise advancing children with an advance of trust. If the child says that he did not commit an act, one should believe his child as a mother or father. Both children and adults hate being wrongfully accused. This should always be kept in mind before submitting anything to your children (or partner).
What to do if you catch your child lying?
But what if you catch your own child in the act? Got it while stealing or secret snacking? The biggest mistake you can make is to give the child a stand-up drummer. This is how the child “learns” that perhaps a lie or a cleverer secret procedure might have protected him from that stand-up joke. It fears in the future a new complaint and will try to conceal even more – or just to fib.
So how do you react properly if you catch the child lying? Experts advise asking his child understanding why : “Why are you secretly eating?”, “Why are you stealing the change?”, “Why did you break the vase?”. If the child then answers openly and honestly, it should be rewarded for its honesty. So it is encouraged to tell the truth and learns not to be afraid of it (or the reaction to it). As a parent you should always keep in mind that especially children do not mean it when they cheat. But behind every lie is a cause – be it fear and distress in children or laziness and rebellion (against strict rules) in adolescents. Shame or less self-confidence can also be reasons for lying.
Reward for honesty and show understanding
At this point, it also makes sense to address the lying itself with the child. Children always ask why, “why can not I lie?” Here parents can vividly tell the story of the child, who has always lied and then in real need did not get help, because everyone believed it was lying. Even books or radio plays on the subject can help in the child-friendly education.
In no case should parents be resentful. Instead, they should tell their child at every opportunity, “If you’ve eaten something, you can always come to us with it, and even if I’m upset, we’ll find a solution together.” This strengthens the relationship of trust between parent and child – and prevents most lies.
Be a good role model
Whatever helps is to be a good role model. Children look much more off of adults than you think. Once the child realizes that Mum has been ill on the phone, for example, but is actually healthy, it could send the child the signal that lying is okay.
Of course you should not lie to your child either. If the child finds the chocolate after Mama’s sentence “The chocolate is all” but you are the child with no good role model. Basically, if parents are authentic and honest, sooner or later they will turn their attention on their children.